By Edupliance | April 15, 2016
Autistic persons or people who suffer from a mental disorder are normal human beings. They just see the world from a different perspective. To eliminate bias and hatred against autistic or differently abled children and individuals, it is important to educate the masses about the endless possibilities autistic people are born with.
To address the perpetual need for widespread public awareness and core education on Autism, it is important to provide the normally-born people with training and education to help them support individuals born with Autism and how to treat them with care and respect.
What is Autism?
Autism is described as a neurodevelopmental disorder that inhibits characteristics like impaired social interaction, difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, cognitive disorders and repetitive behavior. It is part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Autism is genetic and is strongly associated with birth defects although the symptoms are spotted as the child grows up. These warning symptoms develop gradually and can even regress with the help of specialized treatments like pathophysiology and a more holistic approach by treating the patient with care and respect.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autistic patients can suffer from Autism spectrum disorder (ASDs) like Asperger’s syndrome or PDD – pervasive developmental disorder or general Autism. It is very necessary to start treatment of autistic patients at an early age otherwise their condition might lead to more severe diseases in the spectrum.
General Autism is diagnosed when a child’s development is delayed right from birth. Some children may seem to develop normally before they begin to lose their social or language skills. They may start having unusual thoughts and preoccupations when the disease hits.
Asperger’s syndrome is a condition that causes people to experience difficulties with social communication, have repetitive behavior or be over-sensitive or under-sensitive to their senses.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is characterized by difficulties in nonverbal communication and social interaction, with very restricted interests and goals in life.
Rett’s Syndrome is a rare disorder that affects girls and is usually diagnosed within two years of birth. There is no cure for this disease. Diminutive head growth, loss of muscle tone and loss of limb function are few symptoms of this disease.
Collectively, these conditions form the Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. This spectrum is seen in most Autistic patients and are rated on a scale on which they sit in this order – Autism> PDD > Asperger’s Syndrome.
How do Autistic patients behave?
Generally, autistic patients suffer from social impairments and lack intuition that normal people are faster at. This is why they are slower in responding to real-world emotions or questions.
Patients suffering from high-functioning autism exhibit frequent loneliness compared to their non-autistic peers. They do not prefer to be alone, but try to establish and maintain a worthwhile friendship with their peers.
That is why, it is very important to help them feel like an equal and include them in all types of activities a normal person would take part in.
On the contrary, they are very talented in other fields. Many ASD’s perform mathematical or complex calculations faster than normal individuals since their brain tends to work in mysterious ways.
How to make an Autistic person feel comfortable?
It is imperative to find the hidden talent present in an ASD patient and not let them feel left out. To help them feel comfortable, people around them should have a good heart and caring nature apart from tending to the emotional needs of an ASD patient.
To boost their sensory development, they should be inducted into special needs training, consultancy for Special and Additional Needs and multi-sensory learning programs to help them feel like they belong to society. These programs will also help you understand how they tend to behave and how to treat them with care and respect. This will make you learn how to appreciate their learning disabilities and better adapt them to multi-sensory environments.
Once you have learnt the physical and mental limitations they face in their day-to-day lives like sensory impairment, irrational behavior, complex emotional needs and emotional trauma due to verbal or physical abuse, you can begin eliminating hindering factors around them like abusive friends, aggressive peers and show them the ways of the world with love.
How do Autistic people behave in a workplace? How do a company treat Autistic people?
Since most autistic patients suffer from reduced social interactions and repetitive behavior, they are more likely to secure jobs they are really good at like making calculations, routine work, etc.
To not aggravate their situation, it is advisable to talk them with a smile and not scold them in any situation. Scolding makes them shut down and may lead to an emotional breakdown.
At the workplace, they should be kept away from areas that are too noisy or buzzing with activity since they like to stay quiet. Their cubicle or work area should be simplistic and not be littered with many things since this affects their brain.
In general, autistic patients should be included in social activities to help boost their sensory development. Just remember not to take anything too far.
Does this holistic approach work?
Yes. Even though it takes some time, many such programs make the patient more positive and lively due to a more interactive and practical approach since they take part in real-world scenarios which help them learn how to behave in society.
In most cases, their behavior is always normal. They tend to get upset with the multisensory interaction they face in one single moment. With proper attention and care, they learn to adapt to such situations and also learn how to rationalize between good and bad.
This approach also helps the parents, teachers and friends of the patient to help them understand the nature and behavior of the patients and not do anything to annoy them.
As you can see, autistic patients are just like us, only their brain works differently. All they need is a calm and composed approach to help them feel good about themselves. It is advisable to always treat them with respect and not scold them in a harsh manner. Positivity and proactivity will help you make someone in need of emotional healing appreciate your efforts.